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Feature the Teacher - David Langdon, Winnipeg’s Therapeutic Clown!


We are so excited to announce that we will be offering a specialization in Therapeutic Clowning at WHEAT Institute! It will be the first of its kind in central Canada. Details will be posted soon, but we are looking at a late August start date. David Langdon has previously taught with WHEAT and will not only be teaching our Clowning in Expressive Arts Therapy course this summer (August 11-13, 2018) but will also be leading our clowning specialization. We are so honored to have him on board developing this special program and would like to share a little more about him and the history of therapeutic clowning in Canada!


David Langdon
David Langdon

David Langdon, BA (Hons) has been the Therapeutic Clown/ Child Life Specialist at Winnipeg Children’s Hospital since 1989. He uses two different clown persona and styles in his therapeutic clown work. One is the non-speaking mime clown Hubert inspired by Karen Ridd’s work; the other is Onri a gregarious inventor/researcher inspired by the clown doctor model. He is a founding member of the Canadian Association of Therapeutic Clowns/ L’Association Canadienne des Clowns Thérapeutiques. His work has been featured in various media, notably the 2006 documentary film “I Clown For You-hoo! /Je clowne pour toa!.” In March 2017, David represented Therapeutic Clowns Canada at the Healthcare Clowning International Meeting in Lisbon, Portugal. He has presented and led workshops at numerous Canadian therapeutic clowning conferences and events. Prior to working at Children’s Hospital, David taught acting and clowning. He is also active as a writer, and a musician.

Watch an excerpt from this documentary of the Winnipeg Therapeutic Clown Program, courtesy of Red Letter Films HERE

Clowns today are laughter artists whose tools range from cream pie to poetic delirium. But many also lead a double life of care and tenderness … With and without their red nose, they tell us about their work and life. They bring us into a world where lightness, darkness, laughter, and tears are often mixed together, and where life, courage and hope overcome all.

Therapeutic Clowning

David is considered an elder in the Canadian therapeutic clown community. He started in 1989, following Karen Ridd the “mother of therapeutic clowning” who started the profession here in Winnipeg in 1986. There were no other programs in Canada at the time. David networked with the other Canadian therapeutic clowns in the 90’s as programs emerged in Toronto and Vancouver. In 2005 David became the chairman of the steering committee of the Canadian Association of Therapeutic Clowns of which he was a founding member and served as such for two terms.

You can learn more about the history of therapeutic clowning in Canada at https://www.therapeuticclowns.ca/our-history


David Langdon with Robo Award 2006

In 2006 David received the Robo Award for excellence in therapeutic clowning by the Ontario Hospital Association. He has created a Facebook page dedicated to therapeutic clowning and the art of clown called Banana Research and Development Ink.

If you would like to learn more about David and the use of clowning, you can check out some of David’s writing at the following links:

(1) Langdon, David. "Therapeutic Clowning: Play and Levity in a Pediatric Setting",The Muse, Issue 5, pages 28-29. April 2017.

(2) Hospital Clown Newsletter, Vol. 9 No. 4, pages 12-17. May 2005.

(3) Hooson, Paul and David Langdon. Therapeutic Clowning: The Canadian Experience, Healthcare Clowning International Meeting, Lisbon, Portugal. 2006.

February 9, 2018